In July Thousands Come To Harborfest

OSWEGO, NY – In early July, a proposal by Bion Environmental Technologies Inc. to build a large livestock slaughterhouse facility in the county was met with a lukewarm reception and plenty of questions from lawmakers as well as members of the local farming community.

Under the proposal, there would be more than 70,000 head of cattle housed somewhere in the county. There would be an estimated 400 jobs created at the slaughterhouse, as well as close to 200 “support positions.”

It would be a “closed loop” operation, meaning the cattle’s manure would be used for ethanol.

During the fall of 2009, Bion officials were in discussion with representatives of Phoenix/Schroeppel for possible construction there.

Also in July, A little bit of Africa rolled through Oswego, courtesy of Canada.

Nineteen Canadians got on their bikes July 3 and began the third annual fundraising trek benefiting a charity that ships recycled bicycles to Malawi, a small nation on the eastern edge of Africa.

It’s located between Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia.

“We are riding around Lake Ontario again for Africycle, this time with more riders and more Rotary Club members joining us,” said Michael VanDerHerberg. “We started in Peterborough, Ontario, and will end 10 days later in Peterborough, with Lake Ontario in between.”

Africycle’s vision is to help break the cycle of poverty in Malawi by providing access to high quality bicycles. Through bicycles, Malawians are able to improve the standard of living for both family and community.

“This is Ride for Africycle 3.0. We had seven riders last year with a mini-van. The first year it was just two of us,” VanDerHerberg told Oswego County Today. “This year, we left Peterborough with 19 riders and a modified school bus.”

In May, the city received the title to the 75-year-old West Pierhead Lighthouse.

On July 14, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ursula W. Walther, of the US Coast Guard station, presented Mayor Randy Bateman with the key to the historic landmark.

After several years of waiting, city officials took ownership of the lighthouse.

“I accept this transfer on behalf of the residents of the city of Oswego and our many visitors who come here annually to enjoy our waterfront area,” the mayor said.

The preservation and restoration of the lighthouse may take up to five years to complete, the mayor said.

Even after that, there likely won’t be any public tours for another five years, said Mary Vanouse, the city’s community development director.

The mayor recognized Walther; she was transferring to a Coast Guard station in Miami.

A little bit of rain was barely an inconvenience for the crowd at opening night of Harborfest 22.

The music started at 7 p.m. Thursday with Hotel California (a salute to the Eagles). And, after a short interruption for the official opening ceremonies, Live Wire (an AC/DC tribute band) kept Harborfest 2009 rocking and rolling.

The next day, the annual Children’s Parade attracted one of the largest crowds ever.

Scattered showers, some heavy at times, plagued the festival. The weather, however, cooperated with the fireworks. The rains held off until the spectacular was complete.